Lunging - how often?

MaisieMoo

Well-Known Member
Oct 19, 2007
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#1
How many times would you lunge in a week if it's the only form of exercise you can give them?

Casper's saddle is coming on 9th Feb but I'm trying to keep his fitness level up (and weight down) by lunging.

Currently doing it about 3/4 times a week for about 40 minutes each time (incl warm up and cool down)

Is it ok to do this or should I only do it a couple of times a week?

Thanks

K
 

pineapple

New Member
Nov 9, 2007
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Gloucester, Hartpury
#2
it depends on the age and fitness of your horse. if he is 4 or younger i wouldnt lunge, i would prefer to long rein.

if hes older than that then but not very fit. then i would lunge for 15 or 20 mins 3 times a week. if he is fitter then 4 or 5 times a week for up to 30 mins.

if he is an older horse and abit stiff then i would spend 5 mins before lunging just walking in hand.

i wouldnt canter much on the lunge as the tight circles can damage the joints.

also, if it the only for of exercise for your horse, does this mean he doesnt have turn out, if so then i would lunge or loose school every day.
 
Sep 10, 2007
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Hythe
#3
OMG how do you lunge for 40 minutes????? I think i'd pass out!! I start to go giddy after about 20 mins....

Sorry don't have anything useful to add other than that. :D
 

MaisieMoo

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Oct 19, 2007
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#4
OMG how do you lunge for 40 minutes????? I think i'd pass out!! I start to go giddy after about 20 mins....

Sorry don't have anything useful to add other than that. :D
Pineapple - he gets turned out for 7 hours a day - during this time the only muscles he exercises are in his jaw:rolleyes:

Sticky - I use a tip the Nookster gave me - rather than always lunging in circles I move with him around the whole school - does get a bit tiring but I find it easier!:)
 

Marusenka

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Aug 10, 2006
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#6
I don't see why it would be a problem to do it 4 times a week but make it more exciting with poles and maybe jumps etc not just standing in the same place with the horse going round and round!

But 40 minutes i would seriously cut that down- 20 minutes of lunging is plenty and he is quite young isn't he? Too much lunging can be detrimental on their joints!

Could you not do some long reining as well with him on some of the days- gives him a chance to practice changes of rein etc as he would under saddle and just gives him something else to think about! You could also take him out in hand if you were able to do something with him during the day- this will still keep him quite fit and give him something else to do. Or just play some groundwork games etc.

Before i got a saddle for my youngster i would lunge him twice a week, take him out in hand at the weekends and then long rein and play games for another two days a week so he still got exercise- just lunging can get a bit boring for them but if thats all you can do then just make it as interesting as you can and vary the pace lots etc
 

pineapple

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Nov 9, 2007
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Gloucester, Hartpury
#7
yea its a good idea to move around the whole school and to go on straight lines sometimes as well. especially if you are going to be lunging for 40mins.

as he is in quiet alot, i would lunge him as often as possible but maybe cut down he time you spend lunging. would your YO let you loose school your horse some days??
 

MaisieMoo

Well-Known Member
Oct 19, 2007
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#9
yea its a good idea to move around the whole school and to go on straight lines sometimes as well. especially if you are going to be lunging for 40mins.

as he is in quiet alot, i would lunge him as often as possible but maybe cut down he time you spend lunging. would your YO let you loose school your horse some days??
When I say I lunge for 40 minutes about 20 minutes of this is in walk to give him a proper warm up/cool down - he doesn't trot for that long and I only ask for 2 or 3 circles in canter.

It's an enclosed indoor school so I can loose school whenever I want however Casper turns into a bit of a psycho when you loose school him and keeps running at me or galloping round at full speed and then falling over. I would love to do it more often but too worried he'll either injure me or injure himself!

Marusenka have never long lined before but going to get some lessons on how to do it.

Can I ask what other groundwork "games" you play with your horse?
 
J

jenmac_85

Guest
#10
I tend to use lunging as an exercise session for me as well. Let Tyler have 80% of the lunge line and we he trots let him use the full school so I have to jog too. Fantastic. If he breaks into a canter let him do one full track of hte school which means i have to break into a run (the horror of it all) however, I have found it worked.

Tyler gets lunged usually about 2-3 times a week, with maybe one sesison including some jumps.
 
Jan 22, 2007
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#11
when you say you move around the school, is he going in a straight line or in a circle?

if a circle then 40min on the lunge equates to 1hr20mins of schooling which is alot!

if your mainly going striaght then i think you would find it easier to teach him to longrein - theres a really good youtube video actually, i will try to find it.

i dont think lunging 4times a week would be too much though.
 

MaisieMoo

Well-Known Member
Oct 19, 2007
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#12
when you say you move around the school, is he going in a straight line or in a circle?

if a circle then 40min on the lunge equates to 1hr20mins of schooling which is alot!

if your mainly going striaght then i think you would find it easier to teach him to longrein - theres a really good youtube video actually, i will try to find it.

i dont think lunging 4times a week would be too much though.

I do a mix of circles and whole school.

I start by going round the whole school in walk, then a couple of circles in walk then trot whole school a few times, some circles then back to whole school, then more circles.

Would like to see the link to the video if you can find it!:)
 

eventerbabe

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2004
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#14
i wouldn't lunge, i'd long line or ride bareback. I had to wait 4 months for my saddle a few years ago and took to riding bareback.

30 minutes lungeing is equivelant to an hours riding so 40 minutes is vastly overdoing it IMO. I really don't like lungeing for the simple fact it does put a lot of strain on their joints. Long lining, well, you can go off, do school movements, lateral work etc. It's far more interesting for the horse.
 

Nookster

Active Member
Oct 21, 2002
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#15
I only lunge for 20 mins or less. For vol most I’d do this 3 times a week if i needed too and couldn't ride. As you said I don't lunge on a circle but use the school as if I was riding, straights and changing rein.

Changing rein I found a pain sometimes – I have slowly been teaching vol to change on a clicking on my fingers, if that makes sense. I click in a certain fashion and he heads towards me I step to the other side and we have changed reins to keep things going in trot etc. Not sure if that makes sense written down ?!
 

Mimi + Me

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Mar 1, 2006
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#17
One of our liveries is an endurance rider but she has a really high pressure job so only gets to ride him at the weekends. Her husband lunges her horse an average of 4 times during the week, for about half an hour each time. Doesn't seem to have done him any harm :)